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Rational use of medicines requires that “patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community. WHO advocates 12 key interventions to promote rational use.

Generally, the MoH is responsible to ensure rational use of medicines in the country through regularly updating the standard treatment guidelines (STG) and the essential medicines lists (EMLs), and through regular training of prescribers and providing updates to them. UNDP COs can support the MoH and NRA to implement activities that encourage adherence to treatment, and that encourage rational use and good prescribing practices. This includes:

  • Incorporating, when possible, fixed-dose combinations, once-a-day formulations and blister-pack presentations of pharmaceuticals, which have been shown to increase patients’ ability to adhere to treatment;
  • Providing peer education and support;
  • Using information and communications technology (ICT) tools to promote rational use and prescription practices; and
  • Conducting research and surveys and disseminating the findings to encourage rational use.

In collaboration with WHO (key technical partner on rational use) UNDP COs can support the MoH and NRA, technically and/or financially, in improving rational use of medicines, through various activities, including the following examples:

  • Updating of a National Medicines Formulary (NMF); Training and promotion of the NMF or NEML;
  • Technical support to update STG;
  • Training of prescribers on STG;
  • Organizing surveys to identify causes of non-respect of STG;
  • Organizing seminars and other communication activities on the change of treatment regimens and posology; and
  • Supporting mass information campaigns (e.g., rational use of antibiotics).

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